February is American Heart Month

Four years ago, at the age of 44, I had a heart attack. I was one of the lucky ones because women who have heart attacks are much less likely to survive.

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. – American Heart Association

41104077. sy475 A new book that came out last year called Invisible Women: Data Bias in A World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez talks about this and digs into the statistics in other areas where women are ignored. The symptoms a women can have when a heart attack takes place can often differ greatly than a man. I actually feel lucky that I had the traditional symptoms because my husband knew to call 911, but if I had the sore arm or back I would have ignored it, just writing it off as another one of my daily pains.

Heart disease does not run in my family, I did not have high blood pressure, and my cholesterol was slightly elevated, but not enough to be on medicine. Also, it is highly unusual for a women to have a heart attack before menopause, which at the time I wasn’t even pre-menopausal.

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When I can’t cope with something I read to try to understand it. One of the books, I read that helped me  is Saving Women’s Hearts: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease with Natural and Conventional Strategies by Martha Gulati. It wasn’t able to give me an exact answer to why it happened to me, but it did answer and explain a lot of the things that were happening in layman’s terms. It also made me wish I had read it before I had the heart attack.

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Finally, because fiction is my way to escape everyday things, though still relatable, I read and enjoyed Leave Me by Gayle Forman, which is about a working mom and wife who is so busy she doesn’t realize that she had a heart attack. She decides to run away from it all and when she does she discovers inner secrets about herself.

 

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services also has information about American Heart Month. Ways to get involved, to practice a healthy lifestyle, and a social media toolkit! Help spread the word about heart health! 

~posted by Pam H.

Upon Losing A Pet

Losing a pet is always hard. I recently lost my 20 year old cat, Stella. She was older then both of my children. Stella and my daughter had an unbreakable bond. My daughter’s first word at 8 months was “itty” as the cat would head bump against her. My daughter at times tried to say it was her cat but Stella and I really knew who the owner was.

Continue reading “Upon Losing A Pet”

Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?

Sure Disney+ has new TV shows and movies to watch, but the library has the classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and lot of other great Disney resources too!Walt Disney

Whether you want to start at the beginning and learn about the man who dreamed up Disney with the book Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination,or read about the history of Disney from their art to their music, check out these books: Continue reading “Who needs Disney+ when you have the library?”

Be the Change: Race and Social Justice

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin

Recently on a streaming service, I watched a documentary on White Privilege.  At the beginning of the documentary, which was hosted by a white women, there was a room full of people of color and she asked what can we do to help?  The response was don’t put the work on us to teach you how to change.  This is something I have struggled with on my journey to become more educated on Race and Social Justice.  I have wanted to learn and change but didn’t know how to do it without learning from people of color.

I have always read books involving social injustice and if you are looking for a great book list a place to start is here.  Ultimately though three things have really brought me to where I am today which is my never ending journey.  They are a documentary on white privilege by Tim Wise, a library program that is available by podcast, and the most recent book I read by Crystal M Fleming.

Before “white privilege” become part of our vernacular, Tim Wise was teaching about it.  He would do the college lecture circuit. You can watch Tim Wise: On White Privilege.  Mr. Wise does a great job of breaking down what white privilege is and how it negatively affects society at large. Continue reading “Be the Change: Race and Social Justice”